Selection against LINE-1 retrotransposons results principally from their ability to mediate ectopic recombination

Mingzhou Song, Stephane Boissinot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons constitute the most successful family of autonomous retroelements in mammals and they represent at least 17% of the size of the human genome. L1 insertions have occasionally been recruited to perform a beneficial function but the vast majority of L1 inserts are either neutral or deleterious. The basis for the deleterious effect of L1 remains a matter of debate and three possible mechanisms have been suggested: the direct effect of L1 inserts on gene activity, genetic rearrangements caused by L1-mediated ectopic recombination, or the retrotransposition process per se. We performed a genome-wide analysis of the distribution of L1 retrotransposons relative to the local recombination rate and the age and length of the elements. The proportion of L1 elements that are longer than 1.2 Kb is higher in low-recombining regions of the genome than in regions with a high recombination rate, but the genomic distributions of full-length elements (i.e. elements capable of retrotransposition) and long truncated elements were indistinguishable. We also found that the intensity of selection against long elements is proportional to the replicative success of L1 families. This suggests that the deleterious effect of L1 elements results principally from their ability to mediate ectopic recombination.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)206-213
    Number of pages8
    JournalGene
    Volume390
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

    Fingerprint

    Retroelements
    Genetic Recombination
    Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
    Genome
    Human Genome
    Mammals
    Genes

    Keywords

    • Genome evolution
    • Human
    • L1/LINE-1
    • Recombination
    • Retrotransposon

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)
    • Genetics

    Cite this

    Selection against LINE-1 retrotransposons results principally from their ability to mediate ectopic recombination. / Song, Mingzhou; Boissinot, Stephane.

    In: Gene, Vol. 390, No. 1-2, 01.04.2007, p. 206-213.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Song, Mingzhou ; Boissinot, Stephane. / Selection against LINE-1 retrotransposons results principally from their ability to mediate ectopic recombination. In: Gene. 2007 ; Vol. 390, No. 1-2. pp. 206-213.
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